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May 12, 2020

Dear CLA Faculty and Staff,

The semester is ending. How strange that seems! The regular activities of the College are proceeding apace, as final exams wrap up, grades are submitted, and we roll toward summer course offerings.

Dean Webster at her laptop in graduation regalia

And yet, everything has changed. We cannot celebrate the year’s end, the graduation of so many students, or the send-offs for our departing faculty and staff members in any kind of CLA style. The community expresses the pride and joy — in Yiddish, we could say we’re kvelling — as our students complete their programs or continue their academic journeys. This time around, though, we are left with individual faces in boxes, video chats, and drive-by celebrations that pale in comparison to our traditional outpouring of delight and contentment.

Efforts are being made to mitigate the cancellation of in-person activities. This newsletter provides some important information as to how we will make do for Commencement, the summer FORGE program, and more. There are several points of pride to note, from Posters on the Hill to our new recognition by the Association of Black Journalists. Even under these unusual circumstances, or maybe because of these unusual circumstances, it is important for us to recognize and lift up our students when they achieve such high levels of excellence.

As is true every May, I wish you all the stress relief that comes with the conclusion of the academic year, although it may not represent as much of a daily difference this time around as it has in the past! Please take time for yourselves to recuperate from this strange semester and to enjoy a well-earned break.

And know that along with the other members the Deans’ Office, I am here for you — just an email or WebEx call away. And if you come up with ways to mark the various landmark occasions with your students and colleagues, please feel free to share them with us!

All my best,